China Holdings announces biomass energy projects

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy
China Holdings Inc., a global diversified asset holdings company, recently announced its intent to build three 50-megawatt biomass energy facilities. Its subsidiary China Power Inc. has signed contracts for the rights to develop and construct them. Two of the facilities will be located in China's Anhui province, and the third will be located in the Hebei province.

All three projects are expected to be in full production within three years, according to China Holdings. The company plans to use its CAPS-II pyrolysis system at the facilities. The technology is based on processing biomass, such as corn stalks, rice straw, cotton stalks, branches, and other biomass byproducts and waste material in two stages at temperatures sufficient to produce steam-generated electricity.

China Holdings said its objective is to produce 1,600 megawatts of renewable energy from hydropower and biomass. The Chinese Central Government passed the Renewable Energy Law on Jan. 1, 2006, which set a series of tax incentives to encourage the construction of renewable energy projects. The National Reform and Development Committee ensures full purchase and payment of electricity from biomass, and prioritizes renewable electricity in sales to the state grid and large thermal power companies.

National Bio-Energy Co., another Chinese energy company, recently connected a 25-megawatt biomass power plant to the electric grid. The facility, located in the Henan province, is the first in China to utilize wheat straw, corn stalks and other so-called "yellow stalks" in direct-fired power generation. The company is a subsidiary of the State Grid Corp. of China, which launched the country's first biomass plant in December 2006. It direct-fires "gray stalks" from cotton and wood.